Aboard Moskva: This time we had an unprecedented tour of the Russian guided missile cruiser

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Russian Navy Moskva in February 2008. (All images: Giovanni Maduli/TheAviationist)

Years ago we had the unique chance to visit the Russian guided missile cruiser “Moskva”. And here are all the photographs we took during this unprecedented tour.

As detailed in a previous article, the Project 1164 Slava-class cruiser Moskva, flagship of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet, suffered heavy damage and her 510 crew were forced to clear out. The missile cruiser was operating in the Black Sea when an explosion occurred: the Russians claim a fire broke out on board detonating ammunition, while the Ukrainians claim the Moskva was hit by missiles anti-shipping.

The Moskva is considered one of the most important warships of the Russian Navy and a key asset in supporting the Odessa beach landing. That’s why the loss is a blow for Russia. Due to its armament, the warship is considered a credible anti-access/area denial asset that has essentially restricted the movements of Ukrainian forces in the south of the country. The Mosvka has already been deployed in the Syrian conflict where it provided the country’s Russian forces with naval protection in exactly the same role, following the downing of a Russian Su-24 by the Turkish Air Force in 2015.

The Moskva was built in Ukraine during the Soviet era and entered service in the early 1980s as the Slava, before being recommissioned in 2000 under the current name. The cruiser underwent a major refit five years ago and in its current configuration is armed with 16 P-1000 Vulkan anti-ship missiles, 64 S-300F long-range surface-to-air missiles (SA-N-6 Grumble ), 40 OSA-MA (SA-N-4 Gecko) short-range surface-to-air missiles, one AK-130 130 mm dual-purpose twin-barrel, as well as six AK-630 close-in weapon systems and systems electronic warfare and decoys to provide a high degree of protection.

Earlier, in 2008, the warship called at Civitavecchia in central Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was a very different time: at the time, the Russian warship was calling with the Italian frigate Maestrale. They spent a few days together in the port located about sixty kilometers northwest of Rome before leaving for a joint naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea.

A look at the forward section of the Moskva.

The visit to the port of the Russian missile cruiser was announced by the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) on its official website: the ship arrived on February 5 and could be visited on February 7, 2008, the day before departure to participate in exercises. Aviator Giovanni Maduli boarded the ship and took the exclusive footage you can find in this post, the vast majority of which have never been shown before.

These detailed shots offer an unprecedented glimpse of the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet before it was damaged.

The stern of Moskva.
Boarding the cruiser.
S300F system fire control radar.
The radar mast.
An overview of long-range anti-ship missile launchers
Flag at the bow.
The Ka-27 helicopter.
45 mm naval anti-aircraft gun.
Aboard the Moskva.
3d radar mp-800 long range.
The versatile AK-130 130-mm gun.
Another look at the AK-130 gun
The AK-130 from the pier.
One of the ship’s antennas.
Two Russian Navy sailors.
Long-range anti-ship missile launchers marked 1 and 3.
We could not identify this.
This image gives an idea of ​​the size of Moskva.
The Kamov Ka-27 propeller
Kamov Ka-27
Radar Volna 3R41.
Coat of arms of Moskva.
A prancing horse “zapped” on the Ka-27

David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the founder and editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the most famous and widely read military aviation blogs in the world. Since 1996, he has written for major global magazines including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft and many others, covering aviation, defense, warfare, industry, intelligence, crime and cyber warfare. He has reported from the United States, Europe, Australia and Syria, and has flown several combat aircraft with different air forces. He is a former Second Lieutenant in the Italian Air Force, private pilot and computer engineering graduate. He has written five books and contributed to many more.

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